AND IT'S a GOOD THANG!!
So this morning was the much delayed, but designated, mast
lowering day. The new rigging
from New England
has been clogging up the cock pit for 3 weeks and the new lines needed to on, along with new sheaves etc.
It was pretty windless, which was good. Himself was already at the marina when I arrived with G, there to be the sturdy anchor
point in this process.
Himself and I have read exhaustively about the topic of unstepping a small (26') mast
and while we were confident we could do this, we were not casual about it. For along time I was determined to just go up the mast on a line and do the work up there. Finally after reading about it enough I became confident enough to try it. Himself was DYING to get it down so he could look it all over.
I ran a line from the end of the boom to the top sheave of the mainsheet block and then over to the port winch
and cleated off.
I ran a second line from the end of the back stay thru the bottom sheve in the mainsheet block to the starboard winch
We fiddled with the turn buckles and got all of them loosed sufficiently to give as much slack as I wanted on our first attempt. There was one cracked nut, which went from hairline to crumbled pieces, but other than that they all opened up with out any stripping or problem, which was something I was worried about!
G positioned himself before the mast and Himself and I took up port and starboard respectively and I began to feed out slack on the back stay slowly, alternating with the line Himself was on from the boom.
About 10° off perpendicular I looked and thought "if the mast starts moving it's gonna awing straigh back thru the cockpit
like a bowling ball on steroids thru china
pins. Himself and I being the pins...
The third line goes around the mast below the boom anbd runs up to a loop on the bow pulpit and then back thru a block to a cleate.
Ok now we are ready; "On Be..."
"Honey?" Himself offers up, "would it maybe be a good idea for me to go ask the guys up the dock
to come help?"
Man. All set, pretty confident we have it covered. But ok, never hurts to be extra conservative.
Moments later the hunky young guys who live up the dock
from us come trotting up. One takes up the dock position where the tip of the mast will come down to assist G in controlling it. I hand the third control line over to Hunk #2 and we proceed.
Astoundingly it all goes as planned. Totally calm and controlled. Himself Works his line smoothly. G lifts and shifts as gravity brings the rig down. The guys fill in as needed.
In moments the mast is carefully balanced on the bow and deck
, spreaders folded up protectively, Standing rigging
bungeed to the mast to keep it out of the water
We retired back to the Cal
and spent the afternoon celebrating how clever we are, drinking and eating and tellin lies ; -)
Now all I have to do is clean and lube all the hardware
, remove and replace all the sheaves and cotter pins... run the new halyards, refinish the spreaders, run new wiring
down the mast, replace the mast light, add wind
speed instruments, uhhh... yeah. That's all...